You'll probably not be surprised to find out that one of the most important things for a browser vendor is web site compatibility. If a site doesn't work, users can't use your browser. So it goes without saying that web designers and developers are incredibly important. To this end, we are currently building up our developer relations team. We produce the best browser and have the best standards support in the industry, so we want the best in the industry to work with us on developer relations. As part of our efforts we are in the process of building our developer site, Dev Opera, and Opera Labs which focuses on future technology, research and upcoming products. We looked far and wide to find the right person to lead up those efforts. It wasn't an easy task, as we needed someone that not only knew their way around editing technical documents, but knew the industry inside out, knows what developers are interested in and has a passion for web standards and web technology. After a lot of searching, we think we've found that person in Chris Mills, the now former senior editor at Friends of Ed. There he was responsible for editing some of the best books on web standards, by some of the best known and respected standards advocates and bloggers (and books on Flash, but no one is perfect eh Chris?). As an added bonus, he is a fellow Brit, which means we all don't have to write American English . I'm confident we've found the right person to take our efforts further. Those efforts will involve rebuilding and branding those resources, to make them best of breed services to web designers. The focus will be on cross browser and cross device development and not single vendor solutions. We'll have a lot of engaging content in the coming months.
The developer sites won't be our only area of focus. Open the Web is clearly an important area to improve compatibility and standards support on the web. As we build up our resources we can build on the work I've already done in this area and get more sites to fix their issues in Opera and other standards based browsers. We are currently working with Palm on Open the Web. Their upcoming Foleo product uses the Opera Core-2 rendering engine, which will have similar standards support as Opera Kestrel. Making your web site work in Opera desktop will also take you a long way towards supporting our other browsers such as the Foleo, Wii, Opera Mini et al. We are currently trying to build relationships with some of the biggest sites on the web, to make sure we can give them top support when they have issues with Opera, and so we can report issues and solutions to them as soon as we find them. As always, if you have a issue in Opera we'd like to hear from you.
Feedback from developers is another important area for our team to focus on. We are making sure we listen to issues web developers have, and make sure something is done about them, whether that is bugs they are having issues with (you think our DOM is buggy? We want to fix it), missing standards support, or developer tools. We are currently looking at what CSS3 features designers most want for example. Developer tools is the issue we've heard loud and clear, and we've been working for a while on filling that gap. Once our tools are at a useable level we'll be soliciting feedback to make sure they are exactly the tools that will help developers. We won't be happy until they kick every other developer tool into touch and make it a pleasure to test in Opera. I like to think Opera is the browser that listens to developers, and we plan to do a lot more of that. Not only listening though, but putting the feedback into action.